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Though woodbines flaunt, and roses glow
O'er all the fragrant bowers,
Thou need'st not be ashamed to show
Thy satin-threaded flowers;
For dull the eye, the heart is dull
That cannot feel how fair,
Amid all beauty beautiful,
Thy tender blossoms are !
How delicate thy gauzy frill!
How rich thy branchy stem!
How soft thy voice, when woods are still,
And thou sing'st hymns to them;
While silent flowers are falling slow,
And 'mid the general hush,
A sweet air lifts the little bough,
Lone whispering through the bush!
The primrose to the grave is gone;
The hawthorn flower is dead;
The violet by the moss'd grey stone
Hath laid her weary head;
But thou, wild bramble! back dost bring,
In all their beauteous power,
The fresh green days of life's fair spring,
And boyhood's blossomy hour.
Scorn'd bramble of the brake! once more
Thou bidd'st me be a boy,
To gad with thee the woodlands o'er,
In freedom and in joy.
Happy insect! what can be
In happiness compared to thee?
Fed with nourishment divine,
The dewy Morning's gentle wine!
Nature waits upon thee still,
And thy verdant cup does fill;
'Tis filled wherever thou dost tread,
Nature's self's thy Ganymede,
Thou dost drink, and dance, and sing,
Happier than the happiest king!
All the fields which thou dost see,
All the plants belong to thee;
All that summer-hours produce,
Fertile made with early juice:
Man for thee does sow and plow;
Farmer he, and landlord thou!
Thou dost innocently joy
Nor does thy luxury destroy.
The shepherd gladly heareth thee,
More harmonious than he.
Thee country hinds with gladness hear,
Prophet of the ripened year!
Thee Phoebus loves, and does inspire;
Phoebus is himself thy sire.
To thee of all things upon earth,
Life is no longer than thy mirth.
Happy insect! happy thou,
Dost neither age nor winter know:
But when thou'st drunk, and danced, and sung
Thy fill, the flowery leaves among,
(Voluptuous, and wise withal,
Sated with thy summer feast,
Thou retir'st to endless rest.
The very flower to take
Into the heart and make
The cherished memory of all pleasant places;
Name but the light harebell,
And straight is pictured well
Where'er of fallen state lie lonely traces.
We vision wild sea-rocks,
Where hang its clustering locks,
Waving at dizzy height o'er ocean's brink;
The hermit's scoopèd cell;
The forest's sylvan well,
Where the poor wounded hart comes down to drink.
We vision moors far-spread,
Where blooms the heather red,
And hunters with their dogs lie down at noon;
Lone shepherd-boys who keep
On mountain-sides their sheep,
Cheating the time with flowers and fancies boon.
Old slopes of pasture-ground;
Old fosse, and moat, and mound,
Where mailed warrior and crusader came;
Old walls of crumbling stone,
Where trails the snap-dragon;
Rise at the speaking of the harebell's name.
We see the sere turf brown,
And the dry yarrow's crown
Scarce raising from the stem its thick-set flowers;
The pale hawk-weed we see,
The blue-flowered chicory,
And the strong ivy-growth o'er crumbling towers.
Light harebell, there thou art,
Making a lovely part
Of the old splendour of the days gone by,
Waving, if but a breeze
Pant through the distant trees,
That on the hill-top grow broad-branch'd and high.
Oh, when I look on thee,
In thy fair symmetry,
And look on other flowers as fair beside,
My sense is gratitude
That God has been thus good,
To scatter flowers, like common blessings wide.
The poetry of earth is never dead;
When all the birds are faint with the hot sun,
And hide in cooling trees, a voice will run
From hedge to hedge about the new-mown mead
That is the grasshopper's.
Here rustic taste at leisure trimly weaves
The rose and straggling woodbine to the eaves;
And on the crowded spot that pales enclose
The white and scarlet daisy rears in rows;
Twining the trailing peas in bunches neat,
Perfuming evening with a luscious sweet;
And sun-flowers planting for their gilded show,
That scale the window's lattice ere they blow;
Then, sweet to habitants within the sheds,
Peep through the diamond panes their gilded heads.